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What is a bank custodian? What services do they provide?

A bank custodian has physical possession of its clients’ financial assets. These could include cash, stock certificates, bonds, and other financial instruments.

A bank custodian is responsible for safeguarding these types of assets. The assets are usually held at one of the custodian's premises, a sub-custodian facility, or an outside depository.

A bank custodian that provides core domestic custody services typically settles trades, invests cash balances as directed, collects income, processes corporate actions, prices securities positions, and provides recordkeeping and reporting services.

Bank custodians are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). For more information, read the "Custody Services" booklet of the Comptroller's Handbook.

Last Reviewed: October 2020

Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on HelpWithMyBank.gov should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

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